Piano Roll?

Feb 21, 2010 at 12:21pm

Piano Roll?

I started using Max 5, and I think in the old version you would use a “timeline” object for a representation of a piano roll. What object does this in Max 5? and is there any other solid ways of being able to control a polysynth VST?

Feb 21, 2010 at 1:57pm

vst~ will give you endless fun

Feb 21, 2010 at 3:11pm

I’m using vst~, I’m trying to build a piano roll type sequencer for it.

Multisliders only allow you to control a monosynth, and the matrix grid is a bitch because I have to write a note on/note off for every note.

Why did they take out the timeline object? is there some new object thats better or alot like it or something?

Feb 21, 2010 at 4:16pm

Yes, it is called Max4Live. ;)

Feb 21, 2010 at 4:27pm

uh ok, ill try it out or whatever, but can someone actually answer my questions?

is there a sequencing method to control a polysynth vst that isnt a multislider, or a matrix grid.

Feb 21, 2010 at 4:28pm

mmmm…..an incredibly expensive alternative to a friendly little piano roll isn’t it?

You could make one using lcd or jitter, but unfortunately I can’t be of more help than that, as I’m quite new to that type of thing in max/msp.

Feb 21, 2010 at 4:37pm

i agree with mcQ. would be nice.

however, a new pianoroll type object has been made to go with the current [detonate] object, but it has not been made publicly available yet. i have it, and the associated [pianoroll] support object, because it was put in (by accident?) to the 5.1.beta9 release and i kept it from that. it is nice (much nicer than the old max4 one) but is a bit buggy. however, there has been no word from cycling whether or not this will actually ever be released in a forthcoming official capacity.

lucky for me i had live anyway, so the expensive option mr palomba suggested was only a little bit expensive for me (!).

Feb 21, 2010 at 11:39pm

I was being a bit facetious there. I harbor a bit of resentment
for c74 because instead of updating the timeline object and giving
Max users a basic solution for sequencing, they decided to make me
pay 500 for Ableton Live and Max4Live. A was getting along fairly
well with Sonar and Pluggo, but they took that away from me too!

I know of no decent 3rd party sequencing external out there.
If there is one, I would like to know as well.

Feb 22, 2010 at 7:49am

Hello maxers,

As it seems so many people looks for a piano roll sequencer why not community makes it by itself ? If everybody participates that should evolve fast, isn’t it ? Flower Power Guys ?

When i made mine as an abstraction, i tried to keep it opened and evolutionary so that I can improve modify easily, and so that others can do it, have feedback, “- THAT does not go because !”, “- I shall have made as it : ” , performances etc….

But it seems that generally we have to make the things we want alone ; it’s not really a criticism, as i have to admit that i am not collective either, it is just damage.

Anyway if somebody wants to start a happy open source project for building THE piano roll sequencer, i want to participate in it ;-)

Feb 22, 2010 at 12:08pm

Sorry to be such a tease, but there is a 3rd party working on a timeline, and very promising it looks too, but to my eternal shame I can’t remember who it is right now!
Some very tasty screenshots were submitted to the other Max list a few months ago, and when I enquired more recently of the author how it was going, the indication was that the project was still in progress.
I have the details on another machine, but I guess it’s not my business to ‘out’ the author anyway; suffice it to say, you may yet be pleasantly surprised.
I too have yet to be convinced by Live and I miss Pluggo; a working timeline for Max would be a very welcome thing,

Feb 22, 2010 at 12:33pm

It’s Roby Steinmetzer who’s working on a timeline external:



Feb 22, 2010 at 2:16pm

this is the things i dont get about max, its been around for like 20 years. and only version 5 had capabilities to undo more than one thing, and they take out the timeline object right as the next version of it would have been decent.
the only good representation of a piano roll i could make so far that would work with a polysynth vst was a matrix grid with a huge 127 value unpack that sends the corresponding note-ons. but its just ridiculous on cpu in order to run properly with the object i made to go along with it so it would look/work like a piano roll.

Feb 22, 2010 at 6:30pm

The sequence class in FTM works similiarly, see



  1. Screen_shot_2010-02-22_at_19.26.01.png
Feb 22, 2010 at 6:34pm

@mcQ They took out the timeline object because the ITM objects (transport, timepoint etc) were intended to replace them.

Come to think of it, eventual plans for M4L may have played a part as well…

Nov 29, 2011 at 4:22am

You can use detonate in max6 it’ll do the job

Nov 29, 2011 at 5:05am

can someone please block the ndrewoods spambot??


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